St Mirren manager Jack Ross has emerged a suprise candidate to take over as the new boss at the Stadium of Light, according to the Sunderland Echo.
Ross was recently selected as the PFA Scotland Manager of the Year after leading St Mirren to the Championship title.
He took over the reigns at the Paisley Stadium last season, where he saved the club from relegation, and this season he has revitalised St Mirren and led them to promotion to the SPL.
Sunderland sacked Chris Coleman after the Black Cats relegation to League One, and it is understood that Ross is the preferred candidate to lead them on a promotion charge in League One.
There has been lots of reports that Chris Wilder is the main candidate for the job, but with rumours circulating that he will sign a new deal at Bramall Lane, Ross could be the main man in the hot seat next season.
As well as Wilder, it is understood that the new Sunderland hierarchy are big fans of Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst.
The Shrews boss has worked a minor miracle at Greenhous Meadow this campaign, guiding them to a third placed finish and a Playoff final against Rotherham.
Since taking over at St Mirren, Ross has overseen 80 games as manager, winning 42 games and drawing thirteen.
He had a spell at Alloa Athletic before his move to the Saints, but it was unsuccessful and he left after just a year in charge.
Ross has worked wonders with St Mirren, but with no experience as a manager, or player, in the Football League, is he the right man for the job in Wearside?